Prisoner Number 600,001: Rethinking Japan, China, and the Korean War 1950-1953

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    Abstract

    Among more than 100,000 prisoners captured by United Nations forces in the Korean War, there was just one Japanese prisoner of war (POW). Matsushita Kazutoshi, Prisoner Number 600,001, had served in the Japanese army in China, both Nationalist and Communist armies in the Chinese Civil War, and in the Chinese People's Volunteers in North Korea, and was to end his military career in the ranks of the South Korean army. Using his forgotten story as a prism, this article explores neglected transborder dimensions of the Korean War. It argues the need to pay closer attention to the historical continuities linking the Asia-Pacific War and Chinese Civil War to the Korean War; it reconsiders the nature of Japan's connections to the conflict in Korea and reconceptualizes the UN POW camps as sites of ongoing Chinese and Korean civil wars.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)411-432
    JournalJournal of Asian Studies
    Volume74
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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